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Report: FOX Sports interested in broadcasting XFL games

Matt Johnson
XFL logo at midfield during 2020 season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dwayne Johnson is now a co-owner of the XFL as the league looks to reboot and deliver a product that football fans can enjoy. While there is still plenty of uncertainty about when the XFL will relaunch, FOX seems to be interested in what The Rock is cooking.

Johnson partnered with RedBird Capital to purchase the XFL for $15 million, buying the spring football league after it collapsed for the second time under Vince McMahon. While ESPN might be backing away from the league, there’s new reason for XFL fans to get excited about the future.

FOX Sports interested in partnering with Dwayne Johnson’s XFL

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and rocked the entire sports world, the XFL proved to be quite successful. A league that was created to entertain fans and give players a chance to prove they deserved another shot in the NFL, was living up to the hype in its reboot.

Unfortunately, just as momentum started growing, the XFL suspended its season just five weeks in due to the coronavirus. Before long, the league closed operations and filed for bankruptcy.

Fortunately, Johnson’s group saved the day. Now with talks about bringing the XFL back and potentially expanding the number of teams, Johnson and Co. already might have a potential broadcast partner.

According to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy, FOX Sports is interested in partnering with the league to broadcast a future XFL season if returns. FOX Corp. is reportedly focused on expanding its live sports coverage and an XFL reboot could play a big part in that.

Of course, the XFL might need to make some sacrifices for this to happen. Specifically, the league might need to give FOX Sports the broadcasting rights to all of its games for free as a way to create exposure. It’s the same approach McMahon used this past season before the league went under.

Can the XFL be successful?

There is still some belief that an XFL relaunch can be successful, even if the league doesn’t return immediately. Before the sale went through, speculation hinted that the XFL could relaunch in two years because of the organizational structure it had in place.

While some have called for the XFL to return next year, the COVID-19 pandemic could make that complicated. The league relied on stadium revenue without any revenue coming in from broadcasting deals.

The league saw its average attendance dip from its peak in Week 3 and ticket sales dwarfed the AAF before it collapsed. However, the St. Louis BattleHawks were a huge hit and there still seemed to be enough interest in spring football across the country.

Not only did the XFL provide entertainment for fans, it created opportunities for players and brought innovative rules to the game. Multiple coaches and players, including XFL star P.J. Walker, are now in the NFL because of the exposure they received this spring.

The XFL’s unique rules are also leading to the NFL considering major changes that many fans have wanted for years.

If Johnson and his fellow investors take the right approach, there’s no reason to believe the XFL couldn’t relaunch and be successful.